The clubs that would have won the Premier League if it was based on calendar years

Manchester United v Swansea City - Premier League

For some football fans, it's a source of frustration that only six clubs have won the Premier League since its introduction in 1992. 

The title race has so often been a closed shop. In some seasons, it's virtually been a foregone conclusion.  

Take Manchester City's title win in 2017/18.

Pep Guardiola's side amassed a ludicrous 100 points, a whole 19 points clear of second-placed Manchester United. 

However, there are plenty of sides who have had 'what-if' moments? Imagine if Steven Gerrard hadn't slipped, or if Tottenham hadn't imploded at the Battle of Stamford Bridge. 

What about if the season were judged not from August to May, but on an entire calendar year? 

It's the mark of consistency when some teams are able to finish a season strongly and start the next campaign in equally good form. Liverpool have been remarkable throughout 2019, particularly at home. 

So over at GIVEMESPORT, we've done a little calculating. 

Using data from Transfermarkt, we've considered how different Premier League history would look if the season went from January to December of each year. 

So without further ado, we've compiled the teams who would have won the league each calendar year, alongside who was actually crowned champions during that year. 

1993 | Manchester United | Actual winners: Manchester United 

Sir Alex Ferguson's men started as they meant to go on, lifting the Premiership in its inaugural season. 

Bruce and Robson

1994 | Blackburn Rovers | Actual winners: Manchester United 

Younger fans might find this one a little perplexing. Back in the mid-1990s, however, Kenny Dalglish could rely on Alan Shearer at the forefront of Rovers' attack. Unfortunately, their exploits in 1994 weren't quite enough to stop United from making it back-to-back titles. 

League Champions

1995 | Manchester United | Actual winners: Blackburn Rovers

The roles were reversed a year later. Shearer won the Golden Boot and secured the most glorious day in Blackburn's history. His move to Newcastle in 1996 hit them hard. 


1996 | Manchester United | Actual winners: Manchester United

This was a season of Eric Cantona's comeback (the Frenchman had been banned for kicking the referee and then launching a kung-fu kick at a fan). His 19 goals in all competitions ensured United remained the dominant force. 

Eric Cantona and Alex Ferguson of Manchester United

1997 | Manchester United | Actual winners: Manchester United 

Early exits from both domestic cups didn't overshadow another stellar year for Ferguson and co. 

Alex Ferguson

1998 | Arsenal | Actual winners: Arsenal 

Many had scoffed at Arsene Wenger's methods when he arrived from Japan. Yet Arsenal players were rejuvenated, more focused, and more disciplined. They were rewarded with their first title in seven years. 

David Seaman Announces His Retirement Due To Shoulder Injury

1999 | Manchester United | Actual winners: Manchester United 

Arguably the most historic year in United's glorious existence. The Red Devils lifted an extraordinary treble as they staked their claim as the best team in the world. 

Teddy Sheringham

2000 | Manchester United | Actual winners: Manchester United 

Here is Ole Gunnar Solskjaer holding a Premier League trophy...Moving on. 

Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

2001 | Leeds United | Actual winners: Manchester United

Now this is where it gets interesting. With the likes of Robbie Fowler, Rio Ferdinand, Robbie Keane, Harry Kewell in their ranks, Leeds had a very good team. Then financial turmoil hit and by 2004, they were relegated. Their heavy investment hadn't paid off and all they had to show for it was a Champions League semi-final. 

Southampton v Leeds X

2002 | Arsenal | Actual winners: Arsenal

The Gunners' first title of the 21st century has been eclipsed somewhat by what followed, but this was the first triumph of that great team that included the likes of Thierry Henry, Robert Pires, and Sol Campbell. 

Thierry Henry, Robert Pires, and Sol Campbell of Arsenal celebrate with Premiership trophy

2003 | Manchester United | Actual winners: Manchester United 

Arsenal and United were constantly going toe-to-toe. A superb line-up featuring Roy Keane, David Beckham, Solskjaer, Paul Scholes and Ruud van Nistelrooy saw them over the line. 

Manchester United players celebrate with the trophy

2004 | Arsenal | Actual winners: Arsenal 

Forever dubbed 'The Invincibles', Arsenal went an entire season unbeaten, a streak that eventually came to an end one shy of 50.

Arsenal v Leicester City

2005 | Chelsea | Actual winners: Chelsea 

He said he was special. Some would argue Claudio Ranieri had laid the foundations but it was Jose Mourinho who led Chelsea to their first title in five decades. 

(FILES) Chelsea's Manager Jose Mourinho

2006 | Manchester United | Actual winners: Chelsea 

But would Mourinho have been considered *quite* so special if he'd only won the league once in his first spell and United had surpassed the Blues the following year? And would Roman Abramovich have been as keen to appoint him again? 

Chelsea captain John Terry and midfielde

Within a few years, United were back on top. They won the league in 2007 six points clear of Chelsea and with two games to spare and the result would have been the same if it'd been a calendar year. 

Manchester United's (L to R) Mikael Sylv...

2008 | Chelsea | Actual winners: Man Utd

Avram Grant, Premier League champion. It wasn't to be and he was sacked midway through the year for Luiz Felipe Scolari. 

Manchester United v Chelsea - UEFA Champions League Final

2009 | Manchester United | Actual winners: Manchester United 

The only downside was that Cristiano Ronaldo caught the eye of Real Madrid. Three league titles in a row was a remarkable feat for everyone involved with United. 

Manchester United v Arsenal - Premier League

2010 | Manchester United | Actual winners: Chelsea 

After Mourinho, Carlo Ancelotti has been the most successful Chelsea boss of the modern era. Had the league been based on 2010 as a whole, it would have been another title for Fergie.

Chelsea's captain John Terry (R) reaches

2011 | Manchester United | Actual winners: Manchester United 

Dimitar Berbatov was on fire that year, but he was backed up by the likes of Michael Owen, Ryan Giggs, and Wayne Rooney.

Manchester United's Scottish manager Sir

2012 | Manchester United | Actual winners: Manchester City 

"Manchester City are still alive here, Balotelli...Aguerooooo!!" Except that goal doesn't mean anything, because Manchester United are champions. 

Manchester City's Argentinian striker Se

2013 | Arsenal | Actual winners: Manchester United 

By this point, Arsenal had a bit of a reputation for tailing off. Yet they were still considered strong contenders for the title every season. As it transpired, Ferguson went out on a high as he retired a champion. 


2014 | Manchester City | Actual winners: Manchester City 

With Ferguson out the way, everyone else had a free shot and it was Manuel Pellegrini who led City to their second title.

Manchester City v West Ham United - Premier League

2015 | Arsenal | Actual winners: Chelsea

'WengerOut' was slowly beginning to creep into public consciousness. The Frenchman was starting to be seen as a dinosaur whose methods were no longer cutting it. A league title would have shut up those critics for a few more years. 

Southampton v Arsenal - Premier League

2016 | Chelsea | Actual winners: Leicester City 

For those romantics among us, this one's probably a good job. Leicester did the unthinkable under Claudio Ranieri, defying odds of 5000/1 - but he was axed partway through the next season. 

Burnley v Leicester City - Premier League

2017 | Manchester City | Actual winners: Chelsea 

Antonio Conte's success was short but sweet. He revived the 3-4-3 to great effect and won the league in his first season, but he never settled in England. 

Chelsea v Sunderland - Premier League

2018 | Manchester City | Actual winners: Manchester City

Until Liverpool's resurgence, it looked as if City might go unrivalled at the very top. Guardiola's men hardly put a foot wrong throughout 2018. 

Manchester City v Huddersfield Town - Premier League

As it stands, Liverpool would come out on top in 2019 - but that will be little consolation if it isn't reflected in May 2020. 

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